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05.03 Edward Snowden: ‘Governments can reduce our dignity to that of tagged animals’

05.02 People love Chris Packham because he isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers

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05.03 After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

05.03 Phasing out coal, oil and gas extraction in US would drastically cut emissions

05.03 Off the hook: can a new study in the Pacific reel in unsustainable fishing?

05.02 The Astonishing Creativity of Your Genes

05.02 Armed guards at India's dams as drought grips country

05.02 The innovators: desalination unit brings clean water on wheels

04.30 Surprise, the pundits were wrong: poll shows huge support for Leap Manifesto

04.30 Daytime cooking ban in India as heatwave claims 300 lives

04.30 Obama administration warns of ‘climate refugees’ due to rapid Arctic warming

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05.02 Crackdown in Turkey's Kurdish south-east turns journalists into 'terrorists'

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05.03 Raise the Minimum Wage, Reduce Crime?

05.02 Sam Brownback gutted Kansas: How America’s worst governor and an ultra-conservative ideology wrecked an entire state

05.02 Bill Moyers in Conversation: Eddie Glaude Jr. on America’s Racial ‘Value Gap’ [audio clip]

05.02 Bernie Sanders vows a contested convention despite 'tough road' ahead

05.01 'Mad as hell' middle class independents shape presidential race on their terms

05.01 A New Way to Map the Spread and Decline of Slavery in the U.S. [animated graphic]

05.01 Clintonism screwed the Democrats: How Bill, Hillary and the Democratic Leadership Council gutted progressivism

05.01 'You're a sinner': how a Mormon university shames rape victims

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05.02 Solitary confinement is 'no touch' torture, and it must be abolished

05.02 The movement to end mass incarceration is still too weak to win big [private prisons must be kept at near-full occupancy by contract, so...]

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05.01 Buffett Says Derivatives ‘Time Bomb’ May Elude Auditors' Reviews

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05.03 Saudi Arabia: Foreign Workers Burn Buses After Massive Layoffs

05.03 DNA secrets of Ice Age Europe unlocked

05.03 Ethiopia's farmers fight devastating drought with land restoration

05.02 The End of American Iraq: Poor Shiites invade Parliament over corrupt Spoils System [Like Red states only contracting business with Red contractors]

05.02 The reluctance of Joseph Kabila to cede power could push Congo to the brink

05.01 How Hyperconnected Cities Are Taking Over the World

05.01 Japan's Growing Poverty Defies Glib Explanations

05.01 Dozens of Syrians forced into sexual slavery in derelict Lebanese house

05.01 'Anyone could become a target’: wave of Islamist killings hits Bangladesh

05.01 Humanoid diving robot hunts for sunken treasure in French shipwreck

05.01 Baghdad state of emergency declared after protesters storm parliament

05.01 ‘We’ve had massacres all week’: Aleppo on fire again as Assad consigns ceasefire to history

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  The Difficulty of Being an Informed American
Newspaper logo

DON'T TRUST U.S. MAINSTREAM NEWS:

The Difficulty of Being an Informed American

by Paul Craig Roberts
Thursday, 8 January 2009
The function of the “mainstream media” is to sell products and to brainwash the audience for the government and interest groups. By subscribing to it, Americans support their own brainwashing.
The American print and TV media have never been very good. These days they are horrible. If people intend to be informed, they must turn to foreign news broadcasts, to Internet sites, to foreign newspapers available on the Internet, or to alternative newspapers that are springing up in various cities. A person who sits in front of Murdoch’s Fox “News” or CNN or who reads the New York Times is simply being brainwashed with propaganda.

Before conservatives nod their heads in agreement, I’m not referring to “the liberal media.” I mean the propaganda that issues from the US government and the Israel Lobby.

It was neoconservative Bush regime propaganda fed to America through Judith Miller and the New York Times and through Murdoch’s Fox “News” that convinced Americans that they were in danger from a small secular Arab country half way around the globe called Iraq. It was the American media that convinced Americans that getting rid of dangerous “weapons of mass destruction,” weapons that did not exist in Iraq, would be a cakewalk paid for by Iraqi oil revenues.

It is the same propagandistic American print and TV media that have rationalized Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan based on seven years of lies and deception.

It is the same media that today provids only Israeli propaganda as “coverage” of the Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

It was the New York Times that spiked for one year the leaked information from the National Security Agency that the Bush regime, in violation of US law, was illegally spying on Americans without warrants. The “liberal” New York Times agreed to suppress the story so that Bush would not face reelection under the cloud of his outlaw behavior.

Conservatives think the Washington Post is “liberal media” despite the fact that the editorial and commentary pages are controlled by neocons and their sympathizers.

During the run up to wars and during wars, the American press has always been a propagandist for the government. The only exceptions occurred during the later phases of the Vietnam war and the Contra-Sandinista conflict in Central America. Karen de Young and some others tried to honestly cover the Contras and Sandinistas and were demonized by “patriots” taken in by the government’s lies.

Conservatives still blame the “liberal” media for losing the Vietnam war, when in fact all the media did was to provide some truthful reports that opened some American eyes.

When the truth cuts against the position of the US government, conservatives see it as “liberal.”

When propaganda supports the government’s lies, conservatives see it as “patriotic.”

However, any resemblance to independent reporting disappeared from the American media when the Democratic regime of President Clinton allowed Murdoch and a small handful of moguls to concentrate the American media in a few corporate hands. That was the end of American reporting.

Journalists disappeared from media management and were replaced by corporate advertising executives with an eye not to offend any source of advertising revenue, and certainly not to offend the government, which controls the broadcast licenses that comprise the value of the mega-companies. Today reporters write the stories that their masters want to hear, or they are out. The function of editors is to make certain that no uncomfortable information reaches the public.

The public is slowly catching on, and the print media is dying. The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times are all on the ropes.

Americans are still subjected to Fox “News” and CNN propaganda piped into airport waiting rooms, doctors’ offices, and exercise centers

People ask me where they can get reliable information. I tell them that their goal cannot be reached without their commitment of time.

People who have access to television services that provide English language foreign broadcasts, such as Iran’s Press TV, Russia Today, or Al Jazeera, can get get news and insights from those parts of the world demonized by the US media.

The BBC World Service still reports facts while covering itself by providing the views of the US, UK, and Israeli governments.

Both the Asia Times and Israeli newspapers, such as Haaretz can be read online in English. There are other such newspapers, and all of them provide information that Americans will never see in their own media. Any American newspaper that was as truthful about the Israeli government as Haaretz would be closed down.

The only US print source with which I am familiar in which some honest reporting can be found on a regular basis is the McClatchy papers.

Americans addicted to print media must turn to alternative newspapers, which tend to be weekly or bi-weekly. However, the news and commentary provided are often superb..

Alternative newspapers are often the children of people motivated by a sense of justice and the love of truth. Such people have become an endangered species in the American “mainstream media.” The free press Americans have today is online and in the alternative media.  

The function of the “mainstream media” is to sell products and to brainwash the audience for the government and interest groups. By subscribing to it, Americans support their own brainwashing.


Paul Craig RobertsPaul Craig Roberts is an economist who served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as the "Father of Reaganomics". He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution: An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy: The Collapse of the Socialist Era and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.

This article is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on January 9, 2009.

 


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